Beautiful Things

I became fascinated to the point of obsession with the Etruscan process of Granulation, a process that involves tiny spheres formed under heat through colloidal adhesion, precisely placed on a prepared surface of the same material then fused with a torch. Granulation is a very time-consuming process. From the creation of the granules and sheet, the cleaning and surface preparation of the components to the fusing of the bezels and granules to the actual joining of the pieces, many hours of work can be made or lost in a millisecond with the flash of the gold at fusing temperature.

Style & Quality

I lived for many years on a tiny island in the Atlantic where daily activities are dictated by the wind and the waves, where independence is a nurtured virtue. This New England instilled self-sufficency has directed the path I’ve followed in jewelry making. As a self-taught metalsmith on a remote island, being able to make what I needed was imperative. And now in NC, I follow the same path. So I pour ingots and roll sheet and pull wire to fulfill my materials needs. Jewelry fabrication is great if you love to problem solve. When to do what, and how to do it. The process is always a labor of love.

Susan has had her work shown in:

    Archipelago Gallery, Rockland ME

    Winter Works Gallery Monhegan Island, ME

    Portsmouth Museum of Fine APortsmouth,   NH

    Bellagio Asheville, NC

    The Wells Gallery at the Sanctuary Charleston, SC

    Ellenette Portsmouth, NH

and has had her work published in “100 Artists of New England”, Rooney, 2011.

Susan is a Member of the Society of North American Goldsmiths (SNAG) http://www.snagmetalsmith.org/members/susanmcd/

Susan is also member of the Southern Highlands Craft Guild   http://www.southernhighlandguild.org/

Check out her SHCG Member Page here: https://www.southernhighlandguild.org/member/susanmcdonough/

Susan is featured on PBS' show ,“A Craftsman’s Legacy” Season1 : Episode 5 "The Goldsmith" http://www.craftsmanslegacy.com/episodes/season_1


Rio Grande Interview with Susan : http://riograndeblog.com/on-the-road-with-rio-susan-mcdonough-on-misty-monhegan-island/


I have an innate love of ancient objects and a deep curiosity to understand the process of how they were made.

This curiosity has taken me on a journey I could never have expected.

Using ancient techniques, fine materials and a love of history; juicy gems and rich colors dominate my designs.


Often, my work has an ancient feel, but with a modern twist using colorful stones and finishes.

Often, my work has an ancient feel, but with a modern twist using colorful stones and finishes.

Each piece I make is entirely handmade. I alloy metals and pour ingots of fine metals in my studio, using each to make wire, sheet and granules for my designs. This care and craftsmanship is evident is each piece I make. Whether intended as a gift or for yourself, my pieces endure the test of time.

Susan McDonough is a goldsmith specializing in the ancient technique of granulation. Raised in Asheville, NC and classically educated with a degree in Philosophy, Susan has spent the past 18 years in Maine melting things and obsessing over stones. Now back in the beautiful mountains of NC she is still melting things and obsessing over stones.